This is Tara, she's an engineering intern and she the Argus pilot on the 4-8 watch. You can read all about her background on her biography page found else where on the NautilusLive web site. I thought I would share a bit more about what it's like to work with her on the ship. First and foremost, Tara is not your "typical" intern, if there is such a critter. She's 30 years old and is literally starting over. Why? Because what's she's doing on the E/V Nautilus is really what she wants to be doing. Sometimes, we need to live life a little bit in order to figure out what we want to be when we grow up. That's Tara for you.
She is about as easy going as one can be, and she always has a ready smile on her face. The nice thing is, the smile is genuine. Tara is immensely happy working long hours, stretching her own limitations and understanding in the process. Simply put, she makes an "ideal" intern, the perfect "gopher." But don't get the wrong idea, Tara isn't hazed, or treated as an inferior. She's earned her position about this ship. I've seen her work through a 24 hour period, catching naps on the ship's deck or lounge when she could (she also likes a little coffee with her sugar). For the most part, her bunk remains empty. Her bunk mates probably appreciate this, because Tara's not waking them up with her comings and goings during all hours of the day and night. Tara doesn't want to miss anything. When she's not on watch, she's studying, or working with the ship's engineers, or watching the dive on the lounge consoles... she's doing something. I did learn that one of the most important functions that Tara has to perform is to "oil the Tiki" as part of the pre-dive procedure. This isn't just about generating good "juju" for the dive, it's also about remember details and developing consistent work habits; something that every intern needs to do.
For all Tara's easy-going, light-hearted personality, when she's on watch, she's all business. As Argus pilot, she's responsible for literally "overseeing" the Hercules ROV. Argus is attached directly to the ship, so as the ship goes, so goes Argus. That means that in rough seas, piloting Argus becomes, well, challenging. Argus works as a shock absorber so that Hercules can explore. Or as it was explained over the web site, it's like walking the dog on a leash, and Argus is attached to two of them, one that pulls, the other likes to sniff around. And Tara is the one caught in the middle... When acting as Argus pilot, Tara is the human interface between the navigator and the Herc pilot. Does the stress ever get to her? Well, it is stress, and there is incredible responsibility, but she smiles through it all. And why not? She's doing exactly what she wants to be doing. In that respect, Tara's no intern.